Search icon


17th Jun 2023

Matt Doherty could be in more trouble after post-match comments on referee

Rory Fleming

Matt Doherty

“Referees are so arrogant these days… it’s always about them”.

In a moment that summed up Ireland’s shambolic performance in Athens on Friday night, Matt Doherty saw red for the most pointless of altercations in the dying moments of second half stoppage time.

Running directly into one of his Greek opponents in protestation with their time wasting tactics, the former Tottenham defender was shown a straight red card by Austrian referee Harald Lechner.

Matt DohertyDoherty was shown a red card by referee Harald Lechner in second half stoppage time. (Credit: Sportsfile)

As a result, the 31-year-old is now set to miss Ireland’s next European Championship Qualifier on Monday night against minnows Gibraltar, a game which has become do-or-die for this Ireland squad and management group.

Speaking to Newstalk after the result which saw the Boys in Green rooted firmly to the bottom of the group table alongside Gibraltar, Doherty launched into the Austrian referee.

Discussing whether or not he believed Lechner had made the right call in giving him his marching orders, the 36-time-capped defender was unequivocal in his response.

“The ref obviously lacked a bit of something because there was two seconds left in the game, and it wasn’t really a red card I don’t think. It was probably a yellow, so no, I don’t think it was necessary to send me off”.

Seen by television cameras following the final whistle attempting to make his way towards the game’s officiating team, Doherty was incensed that he was not afforded the opportunity to discuss his red card with them.

“I just wanted to talk. Referees these days won’t even let you speak to them. They’re so arrogant and sure about themselves that you’re not even allowed to approach them and have a normal conversation. It’s always about them”.

“People always think that when you go up to a referee at the end of a game that you’re going to abuse them, but I wasn’t going to do that. I just wanted to talk to him normally”.

With Ireland’s chances of qualifying for a first major tournament since the 2016 European Championships now hanging by the faintest of threads, manager Stephen Kenny saw fresh doubt cast over his future.

Matt DohertyDoherty refused to place the blame for Ireland’s performance on manager Stephen Kenny. (Credit: Sportsfile)

According to Doherty though, the former Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers boss is not to blame for yet another uninspiring away performance.

“For me, it’s nothing to do with the manager of the coaching staff… we’ve been coached well and they’ve done everything possible for us, that’s not the problem”.

Moreover, Doherty’s red card is a fitting end to what has been a dire season on the club front for the attacking full back.

Deemed surplus to requirements by Antonio Conte at Spurs, he secured a surprise January transfer to La Liga giants Atletico Madrid.

However, that too ended in acrimonious fashion, with Doherty making just two substitute appearances in the league totalling 16 minutes, with the 31-year-old now without a club heading into the summer transfer window.

Related Articles:

WATCH: Liverpool BOTTLED the title race 🤬 | Who will win the Premier League?